The representational theory of consciousness

Dissertation, Australian National University (2010)
Authors
David Bourget
University of Western Ontario
Abstract
A satisfactory solution to the problem of consciousness would take the form of a simple yet fully general model which specifies the precise conditions under which any given state of consciousness occurs. Science has uncovered numerous correlations between consciousness and neural activity, but it has not yet come anywhere close to this. We are still looking for the Newtonian laws of consciousness. One of the main difficulties with consciousness is that we lack a language in which to formulate illuminating generalizations about it. Philosophers and scientists talk about "what it’s like", sensations, feelings, and perceptual states such as seeing and hearing. This language does not allow a precise articulation of the internal structures of conscious states and their inter-relations. It is inadequate to capture relations of the kind we are looking for between conscious states and physical states. In this thesis I refine and defend a theory of consciousness which promises to solve this regimentation problem: the representational theory of consciousness. I argue that the representational theory can solve the regimentation problem and smooth out other important obstacles to a fruitful study of consciousness. I also make a case for the theory independently of its payoffs, and I discuss the leading opposing theories at some length.
Keywords representationalism  intentionalism  consciousness  qualia  intentional content
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318.
Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions.David Bourget - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):513-530.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-02-08

Total downloads
1,261 ( #923 of 2,273,321 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #10,275 of 2,273,321 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature